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Life Sci. 2001 Jan 19;68(9):1067-82.

Regulation of bronchoalveolar lavage fluids cell function by the immunomodulatory agents from Cordyceps sinensis.

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National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan.


Cordyceps sinensis (C. sinensis) is one of the well known fungi used in traditional Chinese medicine for treatment asthma and bronchial and lung inflammation. In this study, effects of C. sinensis methanolic extracts on bronchoalveolar lavage fluids (BALF) cells proliferation, inflammatory cytokines production, and genes expression were evaluated. The proliferative response of BALF cells to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was determined by the tritiated thymidine uptake method. The cell-free supernatants were harvested then tested for interlukin-1beta (IL-1beta), interlukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-8 (IL-8), interleukin-10 (IL-10), interleukin-12 (IL-12), and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) by the enzyme immunoassay. The results indicated that the CS-19-22 fraction dose dependently suppressed BALF cells proliferation activated by LPS. The CS-19-22 fraction also reduced IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and TNF-alpha production in LPS activated BALF cell cultures. Furthermore, the IL-12 and IFN-gamma production in activated BALF cells were enhanced by CS-19-22 treatment. The CS-19-22 fraction did not affect IL-1beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha, and IL-8 mRNAs expression in BALF cells detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). By contrast, the CS-19-22 fraction increased IL-12 and IFN-gamma mRNAs expression and decreased IL-10 mRNA expression in the BALF cells activated with LPS. These results indicated the CS-19-22 fraction suppressed IL-1beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha, and IL-8 cytokines production in BALF cells through other than inhibition of mRNAs expression pathway. These results also demonstrate that the therapeutic activity of C. sinensis in Chinese medicine may be related to modulation of TH1 and TH2 cells functions in bronchial airway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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